This page was last updated on May 9 2011
ITALY. (APRIL 25 TO APRIL 29 2011)
On Monday morning April 25th 2011, eight of our group left with me to Dublin to travel to Rome and on to the Tuscan town of Chiusi for a few days of outdoor painting and relaxation. We stayed in the charming studios of Julian and Amanda Hyzler.
Seven of us Anna, Betty, Caroline, Clare, Eamonn, Kay and Monica travelled to Florence whilst Patricia and Joe explored Siena.
We went to the local town of Chiusi on Wednesday and began painting some of the local countryside that afternoon.
We spent most of the day Thursday painting but still found time on Thursday evening at the town of Castillo del Largo followed by a final visit to a local restaurant
Early start on Friday for the airport. Arrived in Sligo at 7.30pm on Friday evening.
Outside Chiusi Train Station. Patricia and Joe are heading for Siena and the rest of us are going to Florence.
Tuesday 26th May 2011. (From Left) Kay Lyons, Caroline Bradshaw, Anna McGloin, Clare Casey, Monica Conlon and and Betty Smyth in front of the statue of David in Florence
Plaza de la Republic, Florence. From left. Kay, Anna, Monica, Caroline, Clare and Betty.
Group photo taken in front of the Ponte Vecchio. (Patricia and Joe travelled to Siena earlier that morning)
Betty pole dancing on the train to Santa Maria de Novella, Florence.
Eamonn and Monica on the Ponte Vechhio, Florence
Joe working outside the studio
Clare Casey in front of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence
Anna, Caroline and Betty with the Uffizzi Gallery and River Arno.in the background
After a busy day painting. (ieft to right) Patricia, Caroline, Anna, Monica, Kay, Betty and Joe. (Picture: Clare)
Tartufo takes a shine to Clare
More Pictures to follow.
PAINTING IN TUSCANY. 26-30 APRIL 2010
Rome, Chiusi, Siena and Florence.
Flags of Umbria and Tuscany
MONDAY (DAY ONE)
After arriving from airport.
A bit tired after the journey. (l-r) Clare, Eamonn and Doirin.
Eamonn and Una
Clare and Una
Later that evening
Monday evening's sunset (Note:- my camera clock is slow)
DAY 2 TUESDAY (FLORENCE AND SIENA)
The Ponte Vecchio ("Old Bridge") a Medieval bridge built over the River Arno, noted for still having shops built along it. Butchers initially occupied these shops. The present tenants are jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. It has been described as Europe's oldest arch bridge
Clare and Una went to Siena (above and below) on Tuesday as it happened was fine with little or no rain.
Una in Siena
Una, Maura, Brid and Doirin in front of Michangelo's statue of David.
Having lunch in front of the Ponte Vecchio
Una, Maura, Brid and Doirin
At The Uffizi Gallery in front of a statue of Leonardo da Vinci
DAY 3 and 4 (WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY) PAINTING DAYS
On the way to the painting sites
One cannot think of Tuscany without thinking of the magnificent cypress tree, so symbolic of the Tuscan landscape that it has adopted the name of "The Tuscan cypress tree. The Cypress was brought to the Tuscan area by the mysterious Etruscan tribes-people many thousands of years ago who considered the plant to have supernatural and mystical connections.
Brid with her finished work
Una almost finished
Doirin finishing her painting
(l-r) Maura, Una, Eamonn, Doirin.
Relaxing after a days painting.
Una with Tartufo
THURSDAY EVENING AT CHIUSI
Chiusi coat of arms
Clare and Una in the local Tuscan town of Chiusi
Una and Doirin in Chiusi
THE PALIO DI SIENA
The Palio di Siena (or Il Palio) is a horse race held twice each year on July 2 and August 16 in Siena, Italy, in which ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen Contrade, or city wards.
The Palio held on July 2 is named Palio di Provenzano, in honour of Madonna di Provenzano, who has a church in Siena. The Palio held on August 16 is named Palio dell'Assunta, in honour of Assumption of Mary.
The race, in which the jockeys ride bareback, circles the Piazza del Campo, on which a layer of sand has been laid, is run three times around the square. It is not unusual for some of the jockeys to fall their horses while making the dangerous turns in the square and it is not unusual to see un-mounted horses finishing the race without jockeys. The race is won by the horse who represents his contrada, and not by the jockeys.
Piazza del Campo
These races organized by the Contrade were popular since the 14th century
From about 1590, the Contrade took to organizing races in the Piazza del Campo. The first of these races were on buffalo-back and races on donkey-back, later took their place, while horse-racing continued elsewhere. The first modern Palio took place in 1656. At first, one race was held each year, on July 2; a second, on August 16, was added later on.
Clare in Siena
The seventeen Contrade are:
Aquila (Eagle), Bruco (Caterpillar), Chiocciola (Snail), Civetta (Little Owl), Drago(Dragon), Giraffa (Giraffe), Istrice (Crested porcupine), Leocorno (Unicorn), Lupa (Female Wolf), Nicchio(Seashell), Oca (Goose), Onda